How to Open A Gym - Part 2

Step 2 to opening a gym - understanding various services you can offer and monetize.

 min. read
April 5, 2022
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Now, we have a BUSINESS, maybe even some money coming in and a dedicated account to put it in.  Next, we need to plan the actual facility. But, before going over a location I would like to step band and make sure you understand the potential services before spending a shit ton of money committing to one.

I am a believer in having what I call a service stack: a list of complimentary services that can handle various needs of customers.  Remember, all business is is solving the needs of a current or potential customer, and we have to put in various levels of services to help those people.

In general, when you are opening a gym you have these options to choose from:

1.    One on one personal training

2.    One on one sports performance sessions

3.    Group personal training

4.    Group sports performance

5.    Open Gym

Yes, there are other add ons such as nutrition, online coaching or custom programming, but this is the 95% of core offerings that people offer.  Every single one of these has pros and cons, but they all have one thing in common: the amount of time dedicated to them is directly correlated to what you can charge (as is common sense).  One on one time is more expensive than group time, and group time is more expensive then programming. Knowing this, you are always making a business trade off of quality vs quantity, high value vs low value. High value clients pay more, demand more, and are always a higher percentage of your revenue (if 10% of your revenue comes from one client, if that client quits - you lose 10% of your money overnight). These are all things you must consider when planning YOUR gym, and your fulfillment, to hit your target revenue goals given your location, skills, comfort with risk, etc.

Most people reading this will want to do a sports performance gym, and I get it – it allows you to bring your specialty to the private sector.  I will let you know now – almost every single gym I have ever seen that specialized in sports eventually offered a form of personal training or fitness to up the revenue.  Simply put, there is more people who want to work out than people willing to pay for their kids to train.  So to build some durability in the business, especially accounting for seasonal swings in athletics, consider offering some year round fitness services - you won't regret it. Even if its for an additional 20-30 fitness clients, if they pay 200 per month each, that’s an additional 4-6000 per month.  That will cover your rent, and allow your athletes to cover the rest of your bills and salaries.  And trust me when I tell you rent is an ever present monster that lives on your mind constantly.

In addition to group, you can also do one on one training.  It is high value, but you must then dedicate another hour of your day specifically to training a single person.  

So heres how I would consider services:  Offering group sports and some high level one on one personal training is your best bet to get started. As you have the ability to hire staff, you can look more into offloading your one on one to your coaches to free up your time (more on this next time), then developing a true fitness program with classes and a set schedule.

I write this post to let you know that prior to going all in on a single service and making that your lifeline, consider a SMALL diversifying of options.  Make a service stack that allows you to handle various levels of client needs, but not so many options that your fulfillment on the fringe services sucks.  For example, if ONE client wants you to write them a program, you should likely say no. Offering a single service to a single person will fall by the wayside and you will likely not have a good fulfillment which is bad for you and the client.  However, if you want to make custom program design a staple of your business instead of general group coaching – then you should absolutely do it because you will likely fulfill accordingly.

Now that you have a rough idea of the services you want to offer, we need to find a location and build out the facility.